Smooth Operator – Rediscovering ‘Lisa’ (US 1990 – 95 mins)

Rediscover ‐ August 28, 2015
Smooth Operator – Rediscovering ‘Lisa’ (US 1990 – 95 mins)

I’ve always thought that telephone based thrillers were an engaging sub-genre, although not all have lived up to their potential. One of the best of course is the classic Barbara Stanwyck suspenser ‘Sorry, Wrong Number’ (’48). Other famous examples are the uneven 1979 chiller ‘When a Stranger Calls’, and William Castle’s fun but frightless ‘I Saw What You Did’ (’65). A lesser-known title but one that has a similar premise to Castle’s movie is Gary Sherman’s 1990 offering ‘Lisa’, a very engaging potboiler with above average performances.

Spirited 14 year old Lisa (Staci Keanan) and her best friend Wendy (Tanya Fenmore) …

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Basements, Blackouts & Blurred Memories – Rediscovering ‘Mirage’ (US 1965 – 109 mins)

Rediscover ‐ August 25, 2015

One of the last studio movies to be made in black and white, the diverting mystery ‘Mirage’ is an above-average psychological thriller, bolstered by a great cast, solid direction and excellent New York locations.

After suffering amnesia during a New York blackout, bemused scientist David Stillwell (Gregory Peck) finds he’s lost the past two years of his life. What he does know is that during the blackout, a wealthy philanthropist fell from Stillwell’s office building and that he now appears to be the target of some shifty assassins. With the help of a mysterious woman called Shela (Diane Baker) and novice …

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Conducting Affairs – Rediscovering ‘Interlude’ (UK 1968 – 113 mins)

Rediscover ‐ August 20, 2015

The 1968 romantic drama ‘Interlude’ is a flashback-filled tale of a brief love affair between a young female journalist and a renowned conductor. Yes it’s a syrupy soaper, but one that holds a special place in many people’s hearts. Mine included.

After being interviewed by pretty reporter Sally Carter (Barbara Ferris), Classical conductor Stefan Zelter (Oskar Werner) begins a romantic interlude with the young journalist, which threatens the stability of Stefan’s home life with his devoted wife and their two adoring children.

In a year of ground-breaking blockbusters such as ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, ‘Planet of the Apes’ and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’, it’s …

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Tennessee Torture – Rediscovering ‘Trapped’ (US/Can 1982 – 95 mins)

Rediscover ‐ August 19, 2015

A backwoods horror that pits college coeds against ruthless rednecks, William Fruet’s ‘Trapped’ is an entertaining slice of Deliverance-inspired mayhem. Coming rather late in the Canadian exploitation era, it’s a decent thriller buoyed by a manic turn by cult character actor Henry Silva.

After witnessing local redneck Henry Chatwill (Silva) murder a hillbilly for cavorting with his unfaithful young bride, a group of camping students lead by Roger Michaels (Nicholas Campbell), find themselves terrorized by the axe-wielding hick, until they’re forced to use basic survival instincts to fight back against Henry and his goons.

Also known as ‘Baker County, U.S.A’, ‘Trapped’ gave …

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Severe Soldiers & a Suspicious Car Salesman – Remembering John Anderson (1922 -1992)

Remember ‐ August 08, 2015

Reminding me of a taller and slimmer James Whitmore, television mainstay John Anderson was often seen as rugged and solemn looking, but could also play comedy when required. One of those faces that I always remember from my childhood, he would occasionally crop up in some now-classic movies in between his many small-screen appearances.

Born on October 20th 1922, Anderson spent his first acting years mainly in television before having a brief bit in the Kirk Douglas western ‘Last Train from Gun Hill’ (’59). Some of his memorable small-screen performances at this time were in the sci-fi favourite …

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Doppelgänger? – Rediscovering ‘Zoeken naar Eileen’ /Looking for Eileen ( Netherlands 1987 – 98 mins)

Rediscover ‐ August 02, 2015

A surprisingly good movie that’s part thriller, mystery and romance, the Dutch drama ‘Looking for Eileen’ is a sort of modern twist on the tragic story of ‘Tristan and Isolde’, and it made for an unexpectedly enjoyable viewing.

After his wife Marjan (Lysette Anthony) is tragically killed in a road accident, architect Philip de Wit (Thom Hoffman) retreats into himself until one day when a young Irish woman called Eileen walks into his bookshop. Bearing an uncanny resemblance to his dead wife, it transpires that Eileen is running away from her brutish husband and hoping to find her secret lover (and …

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Seduction in Suburbia – Rediscovering ‘Baby Love’ (UK 1968 – 96 mins)

Rediscover ‐ July 27, 2015

A controversial Lolita-esque tale about a scheming schoolgirl who tantalizes all those around her, ‘Baby Love’ is a sometimes grimy yet mostly engrossing melodrama, and features a terrific debut performance from future British sex symbol Linda Hayden.

After her mother’s suicide, 15 Year old schoolgirl Luci Thompson (Linda Hayden) moves into the affluent family home of her mother’s one-time lover; Robert Quayle (Keith Barron). Initially suffering vivid dreams and nightmares, it’s not long before the playful Luci is seducing both Robert (who may be her biological father) and his son Nick (Derek Lamden), before moving onto the mother; Amy (Ann Lynn). …

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Portly Professors & Disturbed Doctors – Lloyd Corrigan (1900–1969)

Rewind ‐ July 23, 2015

A scene-stealing character actor, the chubby and cheerful Lloyd Corrigan was often seen in comedy, but was equally adept at villainous roles. He played doctors, professors and other eminent characters, and directed some early features, notably the 1937 crime flick ‘Night Key’ with Boris Karloff. Also a gifted writer, he even found time to co-script Paramount’s popular “Fu Manchu” films, starring Warner Oland.

Born in California on October 16th 1900, Corrigan began acting in the silent days although he spent much of these early years writing and directing before turning to full-time acting in 1939. Following a funny turn in the …

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Sweet Dreams – Rediscovering ‘Nashville Girl’ (US 1976 – 90 mins)

Rediscover ‐ July 20, 2015
Sweet Dreams – Rediscovering ‘Nashville Girl’ (US 1976 – 90 mins)

Part exploitation, part touching drama, the little-seen quickie ‘Nashville Girl’ is a better than average tale about ambition and the darker side of success. A Drive-in delight, it makes the most of its low budget and succeeds mainly due to the enthusiastic charm of its lead actress.

To escape her religious family and after being sexually assaulted by a local lad, pretty Country & Western wannabe Jamie (Monica Gayle) takes to the road and hitchhikes her way to the big city, hoping to be discovered as the next Loretta Lynn. Along the way she takes a job in a dodgy massage …

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A Fish Out Of Water – Rediscovering ‘Miranda’ (UK 1948 – 80 mins)

Rediscover ‐ July 16, 2015

The best mermaid movie that’s not called ‘Splash’, the hugely enjoyable ‘Miranda’ is a sweet-natured fantasy-comedy with a healthy splash of romance. It also made something of a star out of the pretty, husky-voiced Glynis Johns.

While vacationing in Cornwall, young physician Paul Martin (Griffith Jones) catches more than he bargained for while doing a spot of fishing, a lonely mermaid called Miranda Trewella (Glynis Johns). Persuading Paul to take her back to London with him, he disguises her tail, sits her in a wheelchair and says that she is a disabled patient who has come to stay with him and …

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